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The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), passed as part of the American Rescue Plan, has received more than 266,000 applications, requesting more than $65 billion in funds as of May 12, the U.S. Small Business Administration says.

Nearly half, or 147,000 applications, came directly from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, who collectively requested $29 billion in relief fund, according to the SBA, which administers the program.

The RRF was created by the American Rescue Plan Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11. Congress intended for the RRF to provide food and beverage businesses with grants equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses, up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per location.

To ensure that the smallest businesses and those in underserved communities receive funds, SBA has set-aside funds for certain groups of applicants. The breakdown for these categories and the number of applications received by SBA are as follows:

  • 13,114 applicants with pre-pandemic revenues under $50,000 that collectively requested $330 million. A total of $500 million had been set aside for this group.
  • 100,414 applicants with pre-pandemic revenues of up to $500,000 that collectively requested $8.14 billion. This far exceeds the $5 billion set aside for this group.
  • 61,535 applicants requesting $15.1 billion in funds from businesses with between $500,001 and $1.5 million in 2019 revenues. This far surpasses the $4 billion set aside for this group.
  • Applications from 76,183 women business owners, 6,093 veteran business owners, and 42,284 economically and socially disadvantaged people.

Although two categories are already oversubscribed, the SBA says it still has potential funding available for eligible establishments with 2019 annual revenue of not more than $50,000. The SBA portal for the RRF for applicants in this category will remain open.